S. Anirudha played a captain's knock to lead IDream Karaikudi Kaalai to an eight-wicket win against VB Kanchi Veerans in the eighth match of TNPL 2018 at the NPRCET ground here on Thursday.
His unbeaten 93 (49b, 6x4, 7x6) helped overhaul the target of 146, the captain sharing a 66-run, second-wicket partnership with M. Bafna (who scored a run-a-ball 24) and an unbeaten 66-run stand for the third wicket with R. Srinivasan to see the chase through.
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Karaikudi had an early setback with Aditya getting caught at point off S. Ashwath for 5. S. Anirudha then took off smashing three sixes and a four off Ashwath in the fifth over as Karaikudi finished the powerplay strongly at 52 for one.
VB Kanchi Veerans, defending a low score, needed wickets at regular intervals. M Bafna's six of Aushik Srinivas over long on brought the 50-run partnership between him and Anirudha, before he nicked one to the keeper.
S. Anirudha brought up his fifty in the twelfth over and he immediately got a life with S. Siva dropping him at deep midwicket. R. Srinivasan's slog sweep over square leg brought the hundred in the
very next over.
Karaikudi Kaalai was cruising and needed less than a run a ball with Veerans' bowling lacking bite. Kanchi Veerans didn't help itself too by dropping Anirudha once again, this time by U. Mukilesh off Silambarasan as three consecutive boundaries in that over sealed the fate for Kachi Veerans.
Yo Mahesh struck in the very first over for Karaikudi removing S. Siddharth while V. Lakshman got the VB Kanchi Veerans captain Baba Aparajith in the second over. Lakshman struck again by removing S. Lokeshwar through a brilliant catch by wicketkeeper R. Kavin as Kanchi Veerans slumped to 27 for three at the end of the fourth over. U. Mukilesh was trapped in front by S. Mohan Prasath leaving Kanchi Veerans tottering at 44 for four at the end of PowerPlay.
Opener K. Vishal Vaidhya, the only significant contributor, who was watching the collapse from the other end, tried to build a partnership with Subramania Siva but his lofted shot of R. Rajkumar was taken at long off. Southpaw Sanjay Yadav started aggressively hitting three consecutive sixes of S. Swaminathan before holding out at long off. Lack of partnerships didn't help Kanchi Veerans as it finished with 145 for eight off 20 overs.